Photos by  Hala Mufleh

Photos by Hala Mufleh


By John Van Druten


23 Sept - 25 Oct 2014
Jermyn Street Theatre, London

1934, Bedford Square, London. In their beautiful and tasteful home Naomi and Lewis Jacklin live a contented, if unromantic, life of luxury. But when her disapproving sister Mercia arrives unexpectedly one evening with some of Naomi's old belongings, memories of the past, long since forgotten, flicker to life: a vicarage in Sussex in October 1914, and a final dinner before the men leave for war.

Set during and after the First World War, John van Druten's Flowers of the Forest is an enthralling, heart-wrenching story of love, memory and devastating loss by one of the most acclaimed playwrights of the 1930s.

★★★★★ London Theatre News
★★★★★ View from the Gods
★★★★ The Stage
★★★★ Theatre Cat
★★★★ Exeunt Magazine
★★★★ Everything Theatre


Naomi Jacklin Sophie Ward
Mercia Huntbach Debra Penny
Lewis Jacklin Mark Straker
Beryl Hodgson Victoria Rigby
Leonard Dobie Max Wilson
Rev. Percy Huntbach Patrick Drury
Mrs. Huntbach Alwyne Taylor
Richard Newton-Clare Gabriel Vick
Thomas Lindsay Daniel Fine
Mrs Ettles Jennie Goossens
Matheson Gareth McLeod


Writer John Van Druten
Director Anthony Biggs
Designer Victoria Johnstone
Lighting Designer Charlie Lucas
Assistant Director Joshua Stamp-Simon
Stage Manager & Sound Design Gareth McLeod
LX Operator Thom Collins
Press Relations David Burns PR
Publicity Design Carla Evans
Programme Design Cherry Truluck

Photos Hala Mufleh


Artistic Director Anthony Biggs
General Manager Penny Horner
Technical Manager Thom Collins
Education & Development Dr Cindy Crawford
Casting Director Jane Deitch



The Stage - 4 stars

“Victoria Johnstone’s clever set unfolds in a way that completely transforms the playing space and while there are several strong performances from the cast of 11, it’s Sophie Ward, as the contained Naomi, who really stands out. Biggs’ production is elegant and measured”

London Theatre News - 5 stars

“Flowers of the Forest is more than just a play, it is simply a work of art by the artistic playwright John Van Druten. Directed by Anthony Biggs, this is a wonderful and emotional play, that will have you thinking about life, everything we should be grateful for, as well as everything we should be grateful we haven’t endured.”

Theatre Cat - 4 stars

“another beautifully improbable Jermyn triumph: who would expect, in this tiny space, a cast of eleven...and a fine naturalistic set by Victoria Johnstone...Detail, lamplight, candlelight, moonlight, firelight feed in to the pity and understanding both of the period, and of the writing which tried to make sense of it. It deserves full houses.”

Exeunt Magazine - 4 stars

“As well as shining a light on the First World War and its aftermath, the moral questions it raises – primarily, is it worth sacrificing scores of young men in the interest of one’s country – could not have come at a more pertinent moment than in the same week MPs voted on military action in Iraq for the third time in 25 years.”

Everything Theatre - 4 stars

“Victoria Johnstone’s design manages the shift between decades brilliantly and so do the actors. In fact, the entire cast is outstanding, with the two sisters Naomi and Mercia transitioning between decades effortlessly. Patrick Drury gives a strong performance as Reverend Huntbach, the restrained traditionalist who embraces the cause of the war in the name of God and the nation. Max Wilson’s Leonard – terminally ill with TB yet full of energy and dreams – is a joy to follow on stage and so are the other actors.”

View from the Gods - 5 stars

“In Flowers of the Forest, director Anthony Biggs has crafted a wonderful play that manages to combine poignant messages and tragedy with laugh-out-loud comedy. Unparalleled cast and design and crisp staging melds with a beautifully written script to create a performance that will stay with you forever”